Last week I conducted a webinar for the JBKnowledge team that discussed the importance of setting up a Mobile Device Program. This is a very important project for construction companies to explore prior to purchasing new smartphones and tablets for their employees to use. Many construction firms are exploring the power of utilizing mobile devices and apps to solve for workflow issues. The migration from paper based workflows to digital based workflows can be a challenger for some companies. The goal of my recent webinar was to provide companies with a roadmap on how to create and manage a Mobile Device Program. The following are the main steps required to create a program:

Step One: Set up a Technology Committee

The first thing to do, is to identify those technology friendly individuals that are willing to try out new mobile devices and apps. Next you need to invite them to a exploration meeting to discuss the different app platform and hardware options that are available. I would meet with the company CIO and discussing what if any budget line item exists for technology. Finally, you need to create a meeting agenda and set up a regular meetings to investigate all the options available to you.

Step Two: Review current Workflow Practices

The second task you should tackle is to map out your current workflow processes you wish to improve. A few examples would be, how do your field crews… Generate a RFI in the field? Document a Safety Meetings? Take and share Progress Photos? The idea here is to brainstorm and catalogue all of the key process that must be accomplished on every project. You should create a list of these workflows and prioritize which ones should be tackled first.

Step Three: Select and Field Test Apps

The third step is to search the chosen app market place for key words such as construction, safety, and quality. There are hundreds of choices out there for apps at the moment. It will take time to evaluate the app options that work best for you. The Technology Committee must select the initial apps you want to try out in a beta test. Give your committee members access to the new apps on their mobile devices. Set a trial period of say 90 to 120 days to see how they work out and select the most suitable.

Step Four: Deploy Apps and Train Employees

The fourth step is to deploy the chosen apps to the rest of the company. This process is different between the Apple, Android and Windows stores. You may want to research gift cards or Mobile Device Management software to help distribute the apps. You may want to consider bringing in an outside consultant to train your employees on the new mobile devices and apps to bring your employees up to speed quickly.

Step Five: Annual Review

The final step would be to evaluate the apps that you are using once per year and make sure they are still working out the way you intended. The world apps is very different from the traditional software. Where traditional software may have one or two updates a year, apps are updated on a monthly or quarterly basis. It is important to stay in top of these mini updates. Depending on the platform, you also have to be aware of platform updates that may affect app performance.

Does your company needs assistance with establishing or revising a Mobile Device Program? The JBKnowledge IT Strategic Consulting team can assist your team in developing, researching and implementing a Mobile Device Program. If you do, please reach out to the JBKnowledge team today (CLICK HERE).